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Football at its best? Nah. Football worth anything? Sure is. NFL GameDay 2002 is a solid game, but with the quirkiness of the players, and some defensive AI silliness (though nothing big enough to deduct huge points...after all this is a sports game), it just wasn't as fun as I wanted it to be. Maybe I had too big of an expectation going in, but 989 Sports has definitely garnered high expectations after their wonderful college game this year. As with any football game, rent before you buy, and this might be a great fit to you; yet with me, there wasn't really anything fun about beautiful graphics that I couldn't see because I was stuck in General Manager Mode the whole time.
While this is a change we've all hoped for, unfortunately it's not enough. NFL GameDay 2002 does have some extensive graphical enhancements, a good dosage of gameplay tweaks, and some pretty good commentary, but that doesn't prevent the game from being average. This time around, GameDay is a very playable game, despite its various shortcomings, as many of the glitches have been hammered out. It's obvious that Red Zone tried to put a little more effort into this GameDay, in contrast to the previous, but as the saying goes, "efforts must be doubled", and that is exactly what Red Zone needs to do. Final verdict: it's official; NFL 2K2 is the best sports/football game of the year.
In the end, NFL GameDay 2002 offers the same hard-hitting action that diehard fans of the series have come to know and love. With pleasing graphics and a level of control that surpasses any other game before it, it’s bound to please many gridiron enthusiasts. Unfortunately, for those of you looking for a more complete package, the aforementioned annoyances and shortcomings in gameplay and AI relegate this game to a permanent seat on the bench. Yes, it’s been a changing of the guard, of sorts. Madden is still there, front and center. But the way I see it, we have a new threat nippin’ at its heels, in the form of Sega’s NFL 2K2. So, is GameDay’s release better late than never? I’m afraid it’s more like, too little too late!
After an anemic first-year effort on the PlayStation 2, it seems that with GameDay 2002, the series is finally back on track. The game improves in just about every category. The graphics are more vibrant and detailed, the controls and gameplay are solid for the most part, and the sound and presentation are much improved. However, as discussed, there are still plenty of issues that keep the game from favorably competing against other more polished football games on the PlayStation 2.
The graphics are of uneven caliber, too. Player models are not very well detailed. Also, there are terrific animations of bodies flying through the air after tackles, but you also see pass rushers walking after the quarterback and blockers set up to block?nobody. With all the choices available to PS2 football gamers, this game just doesn?t pack a powerful punch. NFL GameDay is the Detroit Lions of the league.